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Panthers and Their Young

July 11, 2005
July 11, 2005

Table of Contents
July 11, 2005

SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
Tennis
Baseball
Pro Basketball
Motor Sports
Summer Double Issue
Departments

Panthers and Their Young

Carolina players have created a place where kids can learn--and raise a ruckus

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

PANTHERS SAFETY Mike Minter (red shirt) and defensive end Mike Rucker (in white) aren't starring in a remake of Kindergarten Cop. They're taking a playground break at Ruckus House, the learning and day care center the two players--as well as teammate Stephen Davis and Muhsin Muhammad (now with Chicago)--opened this summer in Harrisburg, N.C. Last year, when they couldn't find good day care near Charlotte, Minter (above, in uniform) suggested the players go into business. They assembled a 35-person staff (including 31 teachers) and helped devise what Rucker calls a "customized curriculum" that includes Spanish classes, computer training, rock climbing and a lot of swinging and sliding. Now, 187 kids ages six weeks through 12 years (only six are children of Panthers) come to the 36,000-square-foot Ruckus House. "We try to make the parents feel like their kid has been drafted to the Ruckus team," says Minter, 31. The summer session costs $105 a week for kids over five (prices are higher for younger kids), and when the school year begins, Ruckus House will add preschool programs ($625 a month for three- to four-year-olds) and after-school care ($15 a day). That's not the last of it. The players have selected sites for five more Ruckus Houses to go up in the Carolinas over the next two years.

This is an article from the July 11, 2005 issue Original Layout

COLOR PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (RUCKUS GANG)COLOR PHOTOKENT SMITH/WIREIMAGE.COM (MINTER)